Cappytain's Log May 1, 2014
Oi! the Boat has teamed up with Randale Records in Germany to release OXLEY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS debut EP entitled "We Are Legion". While the Runners are a brand new band, the players should be familiar to any fan of American Oi! and street punk. Today I decided to sit down with the band to talk about where they're going and where they've been. So, here we go:
OTB: I’ve listened to music produced by all of you for over half of my life. OXLEY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS have each played with bands known by many of us that listen to good music: 90 PROOF, FATSKINS, RANCID, THE OLD FIRM CASUALS... Can you tell me a bit about OMR’s members history with these bands? And, were any of you fans of each other’s other bands in the past?
Lars: First, OXLEY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS is Mike on vocals, Jeff on Drums and vocals, Dave on Bass and Lars on Guitar. I was a big fan of the FATSKINS when I first heard them.
“Thinkin’ Like a Fatskin” was one of my favorite albums when it came out. It’s still solid today. 90 PROOF is another great band- if I remember correctly, I heard them for the first time on the split they did with the TEMPLARS.
Dave: Mike, Jeff and I have known each other and been friends for 25 years. I was and still am a fan of thier bands. Mike has asked me over the years to sing parts of songs with the FATSKINS, and it has always been my pleasure. I have gotten the opportunity to sing with Mike on 3 tracks. I got to sing backup vocals with Jeff on the 90 PROOF recordings. I have been a long time fan of RANCID, and really like THE OLD FIRM CASUALS.
Jeff: So for me, the only time I heard stuff Lars was doing was through my daughter, who is a fan. I used to be in the Army and was stationed in El Paso TX back in 93-95. This was when we did the 90 PROOF stuff. I sang. We recorded a number of songs, released an EP on One by One Records out of France and appeared on a few compilations: Super Yobs II on Vulture Rock, Oi! We Are the Bois!, Oi! it’s a World Invasion II. Dave actually sang back up vocals on all those songs, too. I started 90 Proof Records and released the EP Lars mentioned along with a FATSKINS / OPPRESSED split EP and the FATSKINS / PATRIOT one too. Mike was gracious enough to use some lyrics I wrote about him and I on the first FATSKINS CD. The three of us go way back. Mike, Dave and I were all in BOOT PARTY immediately post high school (I think Dave was a Senior). Dave played bass, I was Drumming, and Mike was on vocals, of course. We recorded 3 songs- but never released anything.
OTB: I bought all of those 90 Proof Records releases new in the 90’s and that FATSKINS CD when it came out too. Luckily, I think I still have all of them! I never really put a value on CD's like I do vinyl, but somehow the Thinkin’ Like a Fatskin disc has survived in my collection over the years! So, Boot Party- no relation to the Fresno or South Carolina BOOT PARTY then?
Jeff: No relation. We actually used that name at least 2-3 years before they formed.
Mike: Yeah, no relation at all. This was way back in what, ’91 or ’92? With Jeff, Dave and I being from the same hometown we always supported what the other did. It was good times doing our BOOTPARTY band way back then
and I’m happy as hell that we’re all working together in another band with Lars. The first time I heard OLD FIRM CASUALS I was actually over at Dave’s house. I was impressed with what I heard and couldn’t be happier to be working with all three of them! Never was a RANCID fan but I honestly never
really gave em much of a chance. After Lars and I first decided to do this I picked up everything in their discography and they’ve done some good shit over the years for sure. They’re also one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, no bullshit.
OTB: At the time many of us assumed that anything that we learned about through channels other than duped tapes, zines or in basements and backyards was probably not worth checking out. RANCID gained the attention of the outside world, which sort of put them outside of the view of a lot of us that were geographically far enough away that their name was made known to us through the wrong channels. BUT they were actually making really solid punk and zero compromises. Luckily, I had run across Lars and Tim talking in an interview about their influences- which were a lot of Oi! bands that we were listening to. In landlocked pre-internet-fly-over country, stuff like BLITZ, LAST RESORT, SPARRER, SHAM, etc, were like secret passwords that'd quickly get you admitted to our circle. Knowledge of them would definitely get you a place to crash. Seeing Tim and Lars mention these bands as influences was an instant in with me. Once I checked them out, I loved them and still do. I agree, they are great live. Lars is a machine- there's a reason that so many people want him on the stage. So, in short, I've been a fan of the bands all of you have been part of for a very long time. I'm excited for this release and for you as a band!
OTB: So, now that we know where you all were in days of BYOFL and postcards and the time since, lets talk about today: OXLEY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS- How did the band come about?
Lars: Me and Mike both did guest vocals on a song called Valhalla Bound by a band called Bricktop a few years back. We both sent emails to each other saying that we liked what the other did with the song. We first met in person on a tour that we did together. We became fast friends and stayed in touch. During one of our phone calls a few weeks after the tour ended, I asked Mike what he was doing musically at the moment. He told me he wasn’t doing much. I told him that that was unacceptable and said that we should do a band together. We bounced around a few line-up ideas.
Mike: I accepted and we bounced around some different lineups. When the dust settled it was Dave and Jeff and I personally couldn’t be happier!
Lars: Once we got Jeff and Dave aboard, it’s as if we’ve been a band for years.
OTB: How does songwriting work, so far, in OMR?
Dave: The nice thing about this band is that everyone brings something to the table. We all work very well together.
Lars: We all contribute with the way the music ends up, so I would say it’s a group effort from start to finish. I had a few riffs that I brought in and Dave had the chorus bass line of We Are Legion. We would all sit around and put them together. So, basically, we would just build a song around those rough ideas. Mike and Jeff put lyrics to them Everyone in the band is accomplished, in their own right, so there are no egos, at all. Like a band should be.
Mike: It’s definitely a group effort. Everybody had some sort of input or another. Lars has vision like nobody I’ve ever worked with and the fucking intensity to go with it.
(Continued below and at Part Duex )
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